That’s why I do what I do! But I stand by my assertion that in recent years, the Emmy Awards ceremony has been much better than the Oscars. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shake it up — and I think my ideas hold promise!
An excerpt from this week’s column:
I have another idea for a twist on the Emmys format. And it’s sitting right there on the NBC primetime lineup: “Law & Order.”
What better way to promote the return of the original-recipe “L&O” to primetime after 12 years than turning the Emmys telecast into an episode? And just like an installment of “Law & Order,” divide it in half: The first 90 minutes features a crime and an investigation, with some of the actual nominees participating. That leads to the case during the next 90 minutes, ending with the big reveal … right after the final awards are handed out.
Too wild for you? Another idea I’ve been kicking around may be more doable: Take a page from Comic-Con, D23, Apple and everyone else who has turned to fan events (and even investor meetings) for big reveals and announcements. Make the Emmys the must-see event it should be by having networks, studios and streamers save some goodies that help break the Internet during the show. A new Marvel or Star Wars spinoff. A hot casting on a highly anticipated project. The return of a fan favorite character. A spoiler reveal. Sprinkle those through the ceremony, from each major outlet — which would surely appreciate the exposure.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Studio Group Takes Over Amoeba Records to Promote ‘We Are Lady Parts,’ ‘Girls5Eva,’ ‘Dr. Death’
Universal Studio Group boasts quite a few Emmy contenders with heavy music elements, which led to a brainstorm with its FYC team: Partnering with the iconic Amoeba Music store, at its new Hollywood Blvd. location.
From May 15 to June 15, USG will promote series including “We Are Lady Parts,” “Girls5eva” and “Dr. Death” in a variety of ways, including:
• Each series will have a dedicated outside window display, each with a QR code to download or stream the soundtracks free.
• Inside the store, USG will take over the light boxes featuring each band member that make up the cast of “We Are Lady Parts.” There will also be an in-store banner for “Girls5eva,” and parking garage posters for all three series.
• On June 11, Amoeba will give out free “We Are Lady Parts” physical CDs, and digital downloads or streaming postcard for the “Girls5eva” and “Dr. Death” soundtracks, along with band stickers for “Girls5eva” and “We Are Lady Parts.”
During the event, Amoeba’s live DJ will include tracks from Seasons 1 and 2 of “Girls5eva” (“Famous5eva” and “4Stars”) and songs from “We Are Lady Parts” (“Bashir with the Good Beard,” “Voldemort Under My Headscarf” and “Fish and Chips”). Amoeba will also raffle “Dr. Death” vinyl autographed by stars Joshua Jackson and Christian Slater.
“We Are Lady Parts” is from Universal International Studios, “Girls5eva” is from Universal Television, “Dr. Death” is from UCP. All three studios are divisions of Universal Studio Group (USG). “We Are Lady Parts” and “Girls5eva” are competing in comedy categories; “Dr. Death” is in the limited/anthology field.
SAG Awards Will No Longer Air on TNT and TBS After 25 Years: Who Will Take Over?
Could the SAG Awards be the next kudocast to make the jump from linear TV to a streamer? We’ve already seen the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards move from CBS to Amazon Prime Video, after the Eye network declined to renew its contract with that show. Now the SAG Awards is up for grabs, as Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNets — the arm formerly known as Turner — is parting ways with the SAG Awards after 25 years.
TNT has run the SAG Awards since 1998, including this year, when the Screen Actors Guild returned to a live, in-person event and moved to Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar (after being based at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall since 1997). NBC aired the first three years of the SAG Awards, which launched in 1995. TNT took over in 1998, and then TBS made it a simulcast in 2007.
Could NBCU make a play for bringing the SAG Awards back to the network, as a potential replacement for the Golden Globes? Adding Peacock to the mix would be interesting as well. The SAG Awards is caught up in Warner Bros. Discovery’s need to slash costs, and although I can’t imagine they’re saving that much by getting rid of the SAG Awards, it’s a new company now.
SAG-AFTRA said in a statement: “SAG Awards is engaged in discussions with Warner Bros. Discovery as well as other networks and streamers regarding the broadcast rights to the show,” the guild posted in a statement. “While the TNT network has advised us that they do not expect to conclude a new licensing agreement with the SAG Awards prior to the expiration of the exclusive negotiating window, we are exploring multiple other options.”
“Engaging in negotiations for the broadcast of the show is not unusual and has occurred several times over the history of the SAG Awards. This is no different. These discussions will continue as they normally are done and will not be conducted in the public eye. As such, we have no further comment at this time,” the guild added.
Who might take over? Take the poll! Click on the box below.
ON THE CIRCUIT: ‘Winning Time’ FYC and More
Busy week on the circuit! Last Tuesday (on my wife Maria’s birthday, and can I mention how wonderful she is that she put up with, and joined me, as I moderated a panel that night!) I emceed the FYC screening and panel for HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” at the Television Academy’s Wolf Theatre at the Saban Media Center.
The panel included Max Borenstein (Showrunner/ep/co-creator/writer), Quincy Isaiah (Magic Johnson), Jason Clarke (Jerry West), Adrien Brody (Pat Riley), Jason Segel (Paul Westhead), DeVaughn Nixon (Norm Nixon), Solomon Hughes (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Tamera Tomakili (Earletha “Cookie” Kelly), Sally Field (Jessie Buss) and Michael Chiklis (Red Auerbach). (Star John C. Reilly couldn’t attend.)
After screening the Season 1 finale (a few days early for lucky fans), we conducted a fun, wide ranging conversation about the show — including, yes, addressing the elephant in the room: The controversy surrounding the real-life Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jerry West, who have all slammed the show (especially West).
Among other events last week:
Hulu’s “The Great” held its Emmys FYC event on Monday, May 2, also at Wolf Theatre at Saban Media Center. The discussion featured creator/showrunner/EP Tony McNamara and stars/EPs Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult (on video screen).
Netflix launches its FYSee space at Raleigh Studios on May 15; to send their invite, look who dropped by Variety Awards Headquarters! You may never see me again.
Sweep the leg! “Cobra Kai” Season 4 headed to NeueHouse Hollywood last weekend, featuring a screening and then chat, moderated by Patton Oswalt, with: Josh Heald (Executive Producer, Director and Writer), Jon Hurwitz (Executive Producer, Director and Writer), Hayden Schlossberg (Executive Producer, Director and Writer), Ralph Macchio (EP and Daniel LaRusso), William Zabka (EP and Johnny Lawrence), Ken Barefield (Stunt Coordinator), Don Lee (Fight Coordinator) and Patrick Hogan (Supervising Sound Editor).
WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Human Resources’ Showrunner Kelly Galuska Answers our Survey
Netflix’s “Human Resources” is a spin-off of “Big Mouth” from the series’ creators, Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, alongside Kelly Galuska. The show focuses on the main hormone monsters of “Big Mouth,” Maury (Nick Kroll) and Connie (Maya Rudolph), in their workplace, which assigns monsters to represent the feelings of people undergoing intense emotions. Aidy Bryant, Randall Park, Keke Palmer, Brandon Kyle Goodman and David Thewlis also star.
We asked Galuska to fill out our Showrunner Seven.
Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence. A raunchy office comedy about the anthropomorphized emotions that help humans through everyday life.
What’s an alternate title for your show? “The Infinite Difficulties of Being Human”
What do we need to know before tuning in? You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn something new about a human experience unlike your own, and somehow somewhere, you’ll likely be a little grossed out.
Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.) “Big Mouth” plus “The Office” plus “Inside Out” (but with way more bodily fluids/please don’t show to children).
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? That our episode about grief has helped them process losing someone in their own life.
If you could work on any other series on TV, what would it be? “Better Things.” It’s perfect!
Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.” If you like something that will make you laugh and make you think a little, and give you some feels by the end of half an hour, you’ll love our show.
Daytime Emmys Sets CBS Ceremony Date, as NATAS Names Lifetime Achievement Honorees
CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” received the most nominations, with 18, as the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences revealed nods last week for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmys. That was followed closely by ABC’s “General Hospital,” with 17. Among outlets, syndicated fare earned the top tally, with 48 nods for various program distributors, followed by two broadcasters tied on top: ABC and CBS, both with 31. (Netflix was next, with 27.)
Among this year’s other key highlights: The Daytime Drama category — which has been shrinking since the broadcast networks reduced their serial output — has expanded back to five nominees for the first time since 2014.
That’s thanks to Peacock’s “Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem,” which will go up against stalwarts “The Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS), “Days of Our Lives” (NBC), “General Hospital” (ABC) and “The Young and the Restless” (CBS). That marks the first time a series and its spinoff will go head-to-head in the daytime drama category.
In terms of representation, NATAS reports that this is the first time since 2012 that there are African American nominees in both the lead performance: actor and lead performance: actress categories, and the org also notes that all of the nominees in the best informative talk show category feature people of color as hosts.
This reps the first year under the agreement between the two major TV academies in which several categories have been realigned to focus on genre, rather than dayparts, as a way to divide eligibility between the Primetime (administered by the L.A.-based TV Academy) and Daytime Emmys (handled by the NY-based NATAS). It’s also the first year that children’s and family programming categories have been removed from both shows and relocated to a new Children’s & Family Emmy Award competition and ceremony, the first new Emmy show since 1979. (That event will take place in December.)
As part of the new alignment, Pat Sajak is in the unique position of competing against himself in the game show host category — for both the daytime and primetime editions of his show. He’s up for the syndicated “Wheel of Fortune,” as well as ABC’s nighttime version, “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.”
“This Old House,” which earned two more nominations this year, has now hit the 100-nomination threshold. The show was previously announced for one of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. The show, which first premiered in 1979, is in its 43rd season. Also receiving a lifetime achievement this year is soap opera icon John Aniston (“Days of Our Lives”).
New networks receiving their first Daytime Emmy nominations include MasterClass, Discovery+ and IMDb TV (now renamed Amazon Freevee).
The 49th Annual Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmy Awards takes place June 18 at the Pasadena Convention Center; the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards follows on June 24 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The event airs at 9 p.m. ET on CBS; it will be available on Paramount+ for subscribers whose premium accounts include local CBS channels. Otherwise, all Paramount+ users will be able to watch the show on demand starting the next day.
Read the full list of Daytime Emmys nominations here.
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: ‘Barry’ Star Anthony Carrigan on NoHo Hank’s New Beau, His Prison Tattoos and How Season 3 ‘Goes Off the Rails’;
“Barry” may be funnier than ever in Season 3, but it’s also more intense. That’s because Cousineau (Henry Winkler) has finally discovered the truth about Barry (Bill Hader). Barry is haphazardly trying to make it up to Cousineau, even after killing his acting teacher’s girlfriend. But Barry’s idea of a mea culpa is getting Cousineau a bit part on a TV show. Meanwhile, Barry’s handler Fuchs (Stephen Root ) is hiding in Chechnya, and his love interest Sally (Sarah Goldberg) has booked a starring TV role — yet finds herself trapped in a verbally abusive relationship with Barry, and struggling to keep up with plenty of Hollywood nonsense.
As Season 3 of “Barry” finally returned last month, the walls were closing in on all of the show’s characters — even the always chipper NoHo Hank, played by Anthony Carrigan. On this episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast, we talk to “Barry” fan favorite Carrigan about the character, his new love interest with rival gangster Cristobal (Michael Irby), and how the show continues to balance light and dark. But first, our Awards Circuit Podcast Roundtable discusses this year’s supporting actress categories in comedy, drama and limited series. Listen below!
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday and Friday. Read more here.
BAFTA TV Awards: ‘The Underground Railroad’ Win in International Category Won’t Impact Emmys
Sounds like the big surprise coming out of this year’s BAFTA TV Awards was the lack of any wins for “It’s A Sin,” despite its nominations in most of the major categories. Instead, BBC’s “Time” won for mini-series, Sean Bean won leading actor for “Time” and Jodie Comer won lead actress for Channel 4’s “Help.”
The BAFTA TV awards rarely have much of an impact on the Emmys, due to the differing eligibility periods — and also the very unique mix of programming on UK TV. Amazon Prime’s “The Underground Railroad” won for international program; the show was in contention last year for the Emmys.
Here are some of this year’s key BAFTA TV winners:
DRAMA SERIES WINNER: “In My Skin” – Kayleigh Llewellyn, Nerys Evans, Molly Manners, Sophie Francis – Expectation/BBC Three
COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM WINNER: “The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan” – Rhean Archibald, Ben Wicks, Tim Dean, Pollyanna McGirr, David Geli, Mo Gilligan – Expectation, Momo G/Channel 4
MINI SERIES WINNER: “Time” – Jimmy McGovern, Tom Sherry, Lewis Arnold, Simon Maloney, Michael Parke, Andrew Morrissey – BBC Studios/BBC One
REALITY & CONSTRUCTED FACTUAL WINNER: “Gogglebox” – Production Team – Studio Lambert/Channel 4
LEADING ACTRESS WINNER: Jodie Comer – “Help” – The Forge Entertainment, One Shoe Films/Channel 4
LEADING ACTOR WINNER: Sean Bean – “Time” – BBC Studios/BBC One
SUPPORTING ACTRESS WINNER: Cathy Tyson – “Help” – The Forge Entertainment, One Shoe Films/Channel 4
SUPPORTING ACTOR WINNER: Matthew Macfadyen – “Succession” – Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, Gary Sanchez Productions, HBO/Sky Atlantic
Here were the full list of international nominees; “Lupin,” “Squid Game” and “Succession” are indeed eligible for Emmy consideration this year.
INTERNATIONAL WINNER: “The Underground Railroad” – Barry Jenkins, Colson Whitehead, Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner – Plan B, PASTEL, Big Indie, Amazon Studios/Amazon Prime “Call My Agent!” – Harold Valentin, Aurélien Larger, Dominique Besnehard, Michel Feller – Mon Voisin Productions, Mother Productions, France Télévisions/Netflix
“Lupin” – Production Team – Gaumont Télévision/Netflix
“Mare of Easttown” – Production Team – wiip Studios, The Low Dweller Productions, Juggle Productions, Mayhem, Zobot Projects, HBO/Sky Atlantic
“Squid Game” – Hwang Dong-hyuk, Kim Ji-Yeon – Siren Pictures/Netflix
“Succession” – Production Team – Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, Gary Sanchez Productions, HBO/Sky Atlantic
‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Was Just the Start, as Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan Expand TV’s AAPI Representation
When “Fresh Off the Boat” premiered in 2015, only a handful of shows with a predominantly Asian American cast had ever aired in primetime — and none of them lasted long. But the success of that ABC sitcom, which spanned six seasons, 116 episodes and made it to syndication, finally inspired a long-overdue boom in series and films featuring Asian American leads — including “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” from “Fresh Off the Boat” producing partners Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar.
“Fresh Off the Boat” may have ended, but Kasdan and Mar — who have been based at 20th TV for more than a dozen years — are continuing to lead TV’s expansion in Asian American and Pacific Islander representation. As AAPI Heritage Month coincidentally gets underway this May, Kasdan and Mar currently have eight active TV and film projects, all showcasing different elements of the vast AAPI experience.
That roster includes the action series “American Born Chinese,” an adaptation of the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, showrun by Kelvin Yu and starring Michelle Yeoh, currently in production for a January debut on Disney+. The duo has two pilots set up at ABC: The South Asian-themed “The Son in Law” from Ajay Sahgal, and “Josep,” starring comedian Jo Koy and inspired by his Filipino family. At Freeform, they have the pilot “AZNBBGRL,” from Natalie Chaidez and Dinh Thai, about young women in Southern California’s Vietnamese community.
Kasdan and Mar are also at work on Season 2 of Disney+’s “Doogie Kamealoha,” the reimagined take on “Doogie Howser, M.D.” from exec producer Kourtney Kang and starring Peyton Elizabeth Lee. Also at Disney+, Lee stars in the TV movie “Prom Pact,” which Kasdan and Mar are currently shooting. And at Netflix, the producers have reunited with “Fresh Off the Boat” showrunner Nahnatchka Khan for the film “Advantage Play,” starring Ali Wong.
Next up, Variety can break the news that Hulu is developing an untitled comedy from Kasdan and Mar starring comedian and “The Daily Show” correspondent Ronny Chieng, who has been tapped to play the new GM of the Brooklyn Nets. The story is inspired (but not about) real-life Nets owner Joe Tsai.
Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: Limited Series – Can the Finale for ‘Moon Knight’ Bring It Emmy Love?
We’ll dive into a different category each week to examine Clayton Davis‘ Emmy predictions. This week, limited series/anthology:
Hulu could own the limited series race significantly this year with two highly acclaimed series – “Dopesick” and “The Dropout.” Not to mention they’re also bubbling with “Pam and Tommy,” “The Girl from Plainville” and “Candy.”
The streamer will face stiff competition from HBO Max, which could have the frontrunner with “The White Lotus,” in addition to handling “Station Eleven,” “The Staircase” and “The Tourist.” With the HBO counterpart, they’ll be looking to revive the buzz for “Scenes from a Marriage” and “Landscapers.”
Netflix will be steering “Maid,” which seems to be, on the surface, a sure-fire nominee. After winning big with “The Queen’s Gambit” last year, they’ll be looking to duplicate that success, along with managing “Colin in Black and White,” “Inventing Anna,” “Midnight Mass,” “Pieces of Her” and “Anatomy of a Scandal.”
FX’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” is generating buzz and acclaim for its addicting plot and strong performances from its actors, most notably Andrew Garfield. It’ll be interesting to see if it can sneak into the lineup, especially with the comparisons to a favorite from last year, “Mare of Easttown.”
Here is Clayton’s drama frontrunners as of this week:
GLAAD Media Awards Winners Include ‘Saved by the Bell,’ ‘Hacks,’ ‘Pose’
Now in its 33rd year, the GLAAD Media Awards celebrates television, film, music, comic books and journalism that have represented breakthroughs and advancements in LGBTQ+ representation. Here are this year’s TV-centric winners, including the recently canceled Peacock reboot of “Saved by the Bell,” which won for best comedy:
Outstanding New TV Series: “Hacks” (HBO Max) Outstanding Comedy Series: “Saved by the Bell” (Peacock) Outstanding Drama Series: “Pose” (FX) Outstanding Reality Program: (TIE) “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Vh3) and “We’re Here” (HBO) Outstanding Documentary: “Changing the Game” (Hulu) Outstanding TV Movie: “Single All The Way” (Netflix) Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series: “It’s A Sin” (HBO Max) Outstanding Children’s Programming: “Family Day” Sesame Street (HBO Max) Outstanding Kids & Family Programming: Power Rangers: Dino Fury (Nickelodeon/Netflix) Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode: “Elliot Page,” “The Oprah Conversation” (Apple TV+)
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ Star Sienna Miller on Her Recent Choices of TV Roles: ‘I’m Obviously Warped’
In Netflix’s “Anatomy of a Scandal,” Sienna Miller plays Sophie Whitehouse, a woman who sees her world fall away once her husband, Parliament Minister James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend), is publicly accused of assault. The legal case that threatens to destroy the couple’s reputations and lives also reveals the true aspects of their marriage and the privilege that has wrapped around them.
For Miller, there were some things she could relate to, having been in the public eye and faced her own intrusion by the U.K. press during the Murdoch newspaper phone hacking scandal. But there are also some similarities to her last major TV project, 2019’s “The Loudest Voice,” in which she played Beth Ailes, the wife of Fox news leader Roger Ailes.
“It was a little bit meta for me, having dealt with public betrayal and press attention,” she says. “There were there are parts of it that were a little bit too close to the bone. But her reactions to those scenarios were so different to my own. I found that interesting in a way, the idea of being in someone else’s shoes in a kind of familiar scenario, but responding very differently. Because psychologically I’m obviously warped. I would like to put myself back into horrible moments in my life and explore them.”
Created by David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson, “Anatomy of a Scandal” also stars “Downton Abbey” alum Michelle Dockery as the prosecuting barrister eager to take down James. S.J. Clarkson, whose recent credits include “Jessica Jones” and “The Defenders,” directed all six one-hour episodes of the drama.
Miller spoke to the Variety Awards Circuit podcast about the impact of the real-life phone hacking scandal, as well as producing this show during COVID-19, doing TV, working on a David E. Kelley show, why perhaps she should be the next James Bond — “Jane Bond” — and more. Click below to listen!